It had the ingredients of a President Donald Trump campaign speech: dangerous immigrants, attacks on Democrat-run cities, even a mention of “America First.”
But it was Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, announcing a routine, and relatively minor, enforcement operation Wednesday at a Washington news conference.
“It’s not about Republicans, it’s not about Democrats, it’s not about elections,” Wolf insisted, twice, to reporters.
Yet it was the third time in a week the administration rolled out actions to appear tough on immigration, reviving an issue that was at the heart of Trump’s successful 2016 campaign, but largely on the back burner in the current one. And it added to charges from Trump critics that DHS and other agencies have become overtly politicized under this president.
DHS, which was created to improve America’s resistance to external threats following the Sept. 11 attacks, has been a tool of key Trump administration policies from the start — enforcing stricter immigration policies, building the border wall and, most notoriously, separating families apprehended trying to enter the United States.
Its political role has increased in recent months, with the decision to deploy DHS tactical agents to